Qualifying – Friday (3 May 2002)
After the disappointment in the last race at Ti Circuit, Charles Kwan managed to be fourth quickest in the GT 300 class. He lapped the 4.400 km circuit in 1.33.044 minutes on the second lap outing in the first qualifying session before he encountered an engine misfire problem on the following lap that caused him spun at the first corner.
Our chief mechanic, Manjit Singh discovered that one of the fuel pump in the fuel tank was the problem. After we filled up more fuel and let Genji Hashimoto to go out but unfortunately, he managed only a few laps before the session ends.
On the second qualifying session, Charles went out with a used set of tyre from the first session and did a few laps but the lap time was almost 1.2 seconds slower than his fastest lap as the weather is getting warmer. Hashimoto took over and went out with a new set of rubber and he clocked 1.34.637, which has improved by almost 2 seconds compared to his best lap time during the free practice yesterday.
“I was very comfortable with the car set-up. It has a very good balance and I could have gone faster if I didn’t spin out“ said Charles.
“Finally I found a better driving line in a few corners that could help to reduced my lap time. The tyre was working well even in the hot condition” said Hashimoto.
This time, the race is longer which is 500 km (114 laps) in total compared to 300 km in the usual JGTC rounds. All the teams will have different pit-stop strategy. “The tyre wear and fuel consumption are the main concern by every teams. BF Goodrich has developed a new compound tyre for this race and we hope it really works tomorrow” said Hong Heng Soon, the team director.